November 30, 2023


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A walk through the vineyards of Saumur Champigny


We put in the afternoon travelling via the special terroir of the Saumur-Champigny AOP in the coronary heart of the Loire Valley. The Champigny appellation is for nine villages and we walked by means of just one, the extremely picturesque area of Souzay-Champigny.  The whole region has 100 winemakers farming 1,600 Ha of vines and all 9 villages create a complete of 10 million bottles on a yearly basis.  The AOC was made in 1957 and 99% of generation is Cabernet Franc.

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The essential to the high quality of the wines from this area is the Tuffeau/Limestone soil that the grapes are grown on. Souzay-Champigny has a special meso-local climate the name Champigny arrives from the Latin Campus Ignis which means “fields of fire”, a reference to the climatic enclave discovered here. Rainfall is low and the typical vineyard temperatures are better than in the other villages. This usually means that Cabernet Franc thrives below as we walked by the vineyards on an afternoon excursion, we stopped at several factors to taste the wines. The to start with point of be aware is the soil, mostly chalk it absorbs rain and Cabernet Franc needs dampness to thrive.  The soil also retains the warmth from the sunlight also critical to ripening the grapes. We tasted 16 wines and the high-quality incredibly much in proof, with a handful of stars in the combine, sadly not accessible on  the Irish market place.  I have long been a enthusiast of Cabernet Franc but my go-to was Chinon and St Nicholas de Bourgueil, I can now most absolutely increase Saumur Champigny to my listing.

I was delighted to see that two of the wines we tasted are presently available on the Irish market. I tasted the 2020 Châteaux de Villeneuve €21.95 his wines are imported by Le Caveau but I suspect they may possibly have an older vintage.  The wine I tasted is built from old vines, developed in a grand clos (walled winery).  Jean-Pierre Chevallier owns the 28-ha residence located in Souzay.  We met him and his daughter Cecile to style their most current classic which was 2020.  This is 100% Cabernet Franc built from organically developed grapes.  It was one particular of the much more structured wines we tasted that afternoon.  Floral notes on the nose, but when tasted a ton of stylish darkberried fruit, with a superior lenght and finish. Construction but with a trace of softness, this wine will final a when, a  serious come across!.

The other wine at the moment available on the Irish market is the 2020 Domaine Langlois AOP Saumur Champigny.  2020 is their 1st natural and organic vintage. 100% Cabernet Franc it was a beautiful straightforward consuming wine, fresh and fruity. O’Brien’s Wines currently have the 2018 vintage on present at €14.76.  The wine experienced great floral aromas, peony roses arrived to intellect, and  tons of fruit. Through the summer season months, when lighter purple wine kinds are incredibly substantially in need, this a person is unquestionably really worth a appear.

We started off our wander in the cave dwellings, the now famous troglodyte homes which were, for lots of centuries, household to a huge underground neighborhood.  Now abandoned you can nevertheless see the remains of these underground villages, hewn out of the rock. The Tuffeau was quarried and the chalk blocks have been used to develop most of the charming houses, châteaux and church buildings in the area.

Right now there are bicycle and walking excursions of the very popular route du vin.  If you are thinking about a holiday with a distinction, this categorized UNESCO earth heritage site is value a stop by.  Troglodytic caves, wonderful gardens and 80 estates welcoming site visitors all 12 months round.


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